New Members 2010 - Hawaii


Date of birth: May 4, 1951
Birthplace: Honolulu
Residence: Waianae, Hawaii
Occupation: Attorney
Education: B.A., University of Hawaii; M.A., University of Hawaii; J.D., University of Hawaii
Previous office held: State senator
Family: Husband, John F. Souza III

When Colleen Hanabusa sought to succeed Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D), she found former Rep. Ed Case (D) standing in the way. She and Case had a history of being on opposite sides of Hawaiian politics. Case campaigned for Barack Obama while Hanabusa headed up Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Hawaii campaign during the 2008 presidential primary race.

During the three-way special election for Abercrombie’s seat in May, Hanabusa finished second behind Charles Djou (R). Case subsequently opted against making a run in the general election, clearing the way for Hanabusa to focus on Djou.

Hanabusa’s maternal great-grandparents immigrated to Hawaii from Japan to work on a sugar plantation. Her parents ran a gas station. Hanabusa was sent to a Japanese-language school and subsequently became the first Asian-American woman to become president of the Hawaii state Senate.